Jul 202017

As-salaam wa-alaikum, brothers and sisters.


Today’s selection is from Surah 34, Sabã’ or Sheba, verses 1-21. These verses assert that the Hour of Judgment is sure to come and those who do not believe in the Hereafter are doomed. It tells the story of how the mountains and birds used to sing God’s praises to Prophet David and the winds and Jinns were subjected to Prophet Solomon by the will of Allah. Lastly, the people of Sabã’, or Sheba, rejected God’s blessings and so were turned into old legends and tales of the past.

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Bis-millahi ar-rahman, ar-raheem.
In the name of Allah, most gracious, most merciful.

Praise be to Allah to Whom belongs all that is in the heavens and the earth! To Him be praise in the hereafter. He is the Wise, the Aware.[1] He has the knowledge of all that goes into the earth and that which comes out of it; and all that comes down from heaven and that ascends to it. He is the Merciful, the Forgiving.[2] The unbelievers say: “The Hour of Doom will never come to us.” Tell them: “Nay! By my Lord, the Knower of the unseen, it shall certainly come upon you. Nothing, even equal an atom, in the heavens or the earth is hidden from Him; nor there is anything smaller or greater than that, but is recorded in the Clear Book.[3] The Hour is going to come and the Day of Judgement shall be established, to reward those who have believed and done good deeds; it is they for whom there is forgiveness and an honorable sustenance.”[4] As for those who strive to discredit Our revelations, there will be a humiliating painful punishment.[5] 34:[1-5]

Those to whom knowledge has been given can see that the revelations sent down to you from your Lord are the Truth and it guides to the Way of the Almighty, the Praise Worthy.[6] The unbelievers say to the people: “Shall we point out to you a man who claims that when your body will disintegrate and crumble into dust you shall be raised to life again?[7] Has he forged a lie against Allah or is he mad?” Nay! In fact those who do not believe in the Hereafter are doomed, for they are in gross error.[8] Do they not see the sky and the earth that surrounds them from front and from behind? If We want, We can cave in the earth to swallow them up or let the fragments of the sky fall upon them. Surely there is a sign in this for every devotee that turns to Allah in repentance.[9] 34:[6-9]

We bestowed Our blessings on David (Dawõõd) and commanded: “O mountains! Join him in singing My praise,” and a similar command was given to the birds. We made iron soft for him[10] saying: “make coats of armor measuring out the links in mail and O people of David, do good deeds; surely I am watching over all of your actions.”[11]

And We made the winds subservient to Solomon (Sulaimãn), which made a month’s journey in the morning and a month’s journey in the evening; and We made a fountain of molten copper to flow for him; and subdued Jinns for him who worked in front of him by the leave of his Lord; and if any of them turned aside from Our command, We made Him taste the punishment of the blazing fire.[12] They worked for him as he desired: making arches, images, basins as large as reservoirs and built-in cooking cauldrons. We said: “O Family of David! Work gratefully.” Only a few of My devotees are truly grateful.[13] When We decreed Solomon’s death, he was leaning on his staff. The Jinns did not know that he was dead until the termite ate away his staff and he fell down. Thus it became clear to the Jinns that if they had known the unseen, they would not have continued in the humiliating punishment of their task.[14] 34:[10-14]

For the people of Sabã (Sheba, presently a town in Yemen) there was indeed a sign in their dwelling place: two gardens – one to the right and one to the left. It was said to them: “Eat of what your Lord has given you and render thanks to Him. Pleasant is your land and forgiving is your Lord.”[15] But they gave no heed. So We let loose upon them the waters of the dam (called Ma’arib) and We converted their two gardens into the gardens producing bitter fruit, tamarisks and a few lote bushes.[16] Thus did We requite them for their disbelief; and never do We punish any but the ungrateful![17] Between them and the towns which We had blessed (Syria and Palestine), We placed other towns in prominent positions so that they could journey to and fro in measured stages. We said: “Travel through them by day and night in complete security.”[18] But they prayed: “Our Lord! Make our journeys longer.” Thereby they wronged their souls and We made them merely a tale that is told and dispersed them in scattered fragments. Surely there is a sign in this for every patient, grateful person.[19] In their case, Iblis’ (Satan’s) suspicions proved true, as they all followed him except a small group of the believers,[20] even though he had no authority over them. It all happened because We wanted to see who among them believed in the hereafter and who is in doubt concerning it. Your Lord is watching over all things.[21] 34:[15-21]


This concludes today’s episode of the 17 Verses Podcast. I hope that this selection has helped increase your understanding of the holy Qur’an just a little bit.

Thank you and be well.